... Indonesia benefits from the TC program in promoting the contribution of nuclear energy ..."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesian Research, Technology, and Higher Education Minister Mohamad Nasir participated in the International Conference on the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Technical Cooperation Program: Sixty Years and Beyond held in Vienna on May 30, 2017.

Nasir was among around 1,500 participants from 168 IAEA member states that include heads of state/government, ministers, and a large number of other high-ranking officials.

During the conference in Vienna, the Indonesian minister for research, technology, and higher education presented various national achievements in the utilization of nuclear technology and energy for peaceful purposes to improve the peoples welfare, mainly in the agriculture/food, health, and environment sectors.

During his presentation, Minister Nasir stressed on the importance of IAEA member states providing support and enhancing contributions to the IAEAs Technical Cooperation (TC) program.

The objective of the TC program is to promote a tangible socio-economic impact in areas where the peaceful application of nuclear technology holds a comparative advantage, including in human health, food and agriculture, water and the environment, industrial applications and energy.

The TC program is tailored to meet the specific needs of member states, including those of least developed nations and responds to the evolving needs and priorities of member states through capacity building, transfer of nuclear technology, and the sharing of knowledge among member countries.

The program contributes directly in a cost-effective manner to realize major sustainable development priorities of each country.

The TC program seeks to promote sustainability and self-reliance and has an important strategic role to play in addressing multi-sectoral and interrelated developmental needs of member states through the application of nuclear science and technology.

Minister Nasir explained that since participating in the IAEA technical cooperation program in 1959, Indonesia has enjoyed various benefits in the fields of plant breeding by developing superior varieties of rice, soybean, and sorghum and the application of nuclear science and technology for health.

In addition, Indonesia has provided modernization assistance to the IAEAs nuclear applications laboratory in Seibersdorf in an effort to strengthen cooperation in research, development, and capacity building.

"Being an IAEA member, Indonesia benefits from the TC program in promoting the contribution of nuclear energy for peace, health, and well-being," Nasir remarked at the International Conference on the IAEA Technical Cooperation Program.

The conference serves as a platform for member states and other partners to collectively explore innovative means to further develop partnerships with other UN systems and regional organizations, financial institutions, non-traditional donors, and the private sector in order to enhance delivery of the TC program.

According to Nasir, Indonesia contributes to the implementation of the TC program by providing experts to assist other developing countries in the utilization of nuclear technology.

Nasir pointed out that Indonesia has a sufficient number of nuclear experts to develop the technology, as the country has several universities offering study programs in nuclear science and engineering.

"The Bandung Institute of Technology has an engineering and physics program, and the Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta has a nuclear physics program. Hence, we have several human resources adept in nuclear engineering," Nasir explained.

However, Nasir noted that Indonesian human resources in the field of nuclear technology have not been working in the country, as there is yet no nuclear technology development program in Indonesia.

As a result, they are working in other countries where nuclear technology is well developed.

Several Indonesian human resources are working in Japan and Russia and are also highly likely to work in Malaysia.

In addition to human resources, the minister said, Indonesia has abundant deposits of nuclear elements in nature, such as uranium, that have not been explored for nuclear power plants.

Indonesia is promoting a sustainable technical cooperation strategy developed by the IAEA to apply nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

Moreover, it supports efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

The minister asserted that Indonesia was entirely capable of providing technical assistance to other IAEA members.

Such assistance can be in the form of training and fellowship programs in agriculture, especially in the areas of mutation breeding, irradiation of food for preservation for disaster areas, and industrial applications.

Minister Nasir also highlighted Indonesias initiatives in strengthening and developing nuclear research and technology for peace in the Asia-Pacific region through a cooperation platform of Regional Capacity Building Initiative (RCBI).

The RCBI was launched at the end of 2015 and was made operational in 2016.

This program is facilitated by the Indonesian National Nuclear Agency, which has been assigned as the IAEA collaborating center, and the Indonesian Nuclear Energy Regulatory Agency for capacity building in radiation safety infrastructure in the region.

Indonesia has developed nuclear technology for a long time, and the people have enjoyed its benefits in the health and agriculture sector.

Reporter: Otniel Tamindael
Editor: Priyambodo RH
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